Staying up (almost) the entire night before a 16 hour flight might have been the single smartest thing I have ever done. A 16 hour direct flight to LA with Virgin/Delta, landing at 6am, 4 hours before departing (thanks to timezone madness), it was imperative to get a good sleep on the plane. The flight was pretty smooth, got a lot of food and the entertainment was good (much better than Jetstar to Japan). Getting through customs was easy enough, unlike the zealous border control of NZ and home. Once out to the very chill air of Los Angeles and onto a van transfer to our Hotel, Best Western (below).

For breakfast we ate at the hotel ‘restaurant’ which was an adjoined IHop (above). I had pancakes and crispy bacon, and why they say crispy they really mean it. Then it was time to take a stroll down to Santa Monica pier. Along the way I spotted one of the mail dispenser thingies (technical name for it) which was surprising as I thought old media was dead.

The pier was awesome, it was a mix between a carnival and the beach, with rides, water, performers and restaurants. There was the one from Forest Gump, some fast food joints and coffee shops. I ended up with a jalapeno bagel with cream cheese and a coconut chocolate drink. Dad then suggested to get on a double-decker red bus to go easily sight see what LA had to offer.

It drove through where the celebrities lived as well as famous hang outs and sights. Eventually we ended up at Rodeo Drive where we got off to go window shopping. The place was as immaculate as Singapore but had a community feel with slightly bending streets and no trashy stores or fast food (except an obligatory Starbucks). Needing to save money to gamble with later, we left empty handed to head towards Hollywood.

By the time we reached Hollywood it was getting dark and the temperature seemed to drop about 20 degrees. It was quite busy with people dressed up, promotional displays being setup and people like myself out and about sight seeing. When it started raining and fingers going numb, it was time to head back. We were dropped off at the pier and started to walk home. On they way I grabbed a ‘slice of cheese’ and a root beer, trying to blend in as the typical American.

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